Love, Self

Am I Ready For A Relationship? Key Signs You're Completely Ready To Love

Photo: by Candice Picard on Unsplash
The Most Crucial Skills You Must Have To Create A Healthy Relationship Filled With Lasting Love

There comes a day when you finally run across your lifelong partner, the person who has the potential to become the love of your life.

While you might not yet know for certain that they're right for you, but he or she has loads of potential and there’s definitely a good chance that they’re the person you’ve been hoping to find.

It's at this moment you'll find yourself wondering: am I ready for a relationship?

RELATED: 25 Sure Signs You're Really, Truly — Finally — Ready For A Relationship

You may meet this “right person” several times over the course of your life. What you do when you find this person varies widely, though, and it marks the difference between a happy lifelong relationship and a missed opportunity.

Many an amazing person has remained single and frustrated because they aren’t actually ready for their perfect partner.

Finding the right person is not enough. You must do something with your opportunity.

This requires having the right skills both for those early dates and for developing that lasting relationship.

With that in mind, here are 5 signs you're ready to love and be loved:

1. You know how to love yourself

This seems obvious, but it is not. You may think highly of yourself, you may have professional success. You might take care of your needs and say you love yourself. That doesn’t mean we’re actually doing it, though. It just means you know the words.

Real love is unconditionally accepting yourself for who you are, flaws and all. It means loving yourself in spite of your mistakes and your imperfections and joyfully embracing this amazing person you live with every second of every day.

Loving yourself isn’t about what you do in life, it's about liking and unconditionally accepting that quirky, crazy human being you see in the mirror.

You love others by finding yourself in them. If you don’t truly love yourself, you won’t truly love your partner. And they’ll know it.

2. You have an understanding of true love

There’s like, and there’s love. Far too many people confuse the two. Thinking you love someone when actually you just like the qualities in the other person.

Love is when you connect deeply with the essence of your partner, that part of the person that is the same when they were 10, 20 and 30 years old, and which will still be the same when they are 75 or above.

This essence transcends qualities that come and go, things like looks, intelligence, skills, professional status, and material possessions. You might like someone who is charming and shares your interests, but these qualities can change over time, and they don’t bring deep connection and true love.

Ask yourself: Do you want a partner who loves you for you, or do you want a partner who likes you because you are attractive and have a quick wit? The partner of your dreams will answer the same, even if he or she might not know how to articulate it. So make sure you know how to love.

RELATED: Once You Do These 3 Things, You'll Be Emotionally Prepared For A Relationship

3. You create deep connections

People form good relationships when they connect. There’s no dating success without the spark of a human connection between two people, and all good relationships require it.

Building this connection is not chance. It comes from honesty and vulnerability. If your heart is closed and you are not sharing yourself, your partner will not connect with you on the deepest level. If the other person is not open, you struggle with loving and connecting with them.

While relationships can function without honesty and vulnerability, they cannot thrive without it.

Making the most of your opportunity requires both the dangerous act of letting down your guard and the skillful act of disarming your partner with safety and acceptance. Get proficient at these means for connecting deeply with others.

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4. You accept others completely

There’s an immutable law of relationships and you must acknowledge it: What you do not accept, your partner will not share.

Life is littered with examples of this law. When your parents do not accept your lifestyle choices or your values, you hide it from them.

When your judgmental friend is intolerant, you avoid discussing sensitive issues in their presence. When you make a mistake that your boyfriend or girlfriend might not accept, your first impulse is to stay quiet.

You might not agree with every decision, but total acceptance of your partner’s thoughts and actions is necessary if you want an honest relationship where your partner shares fully and feels understood.

This is one of the harder skills to learn, but if you master the difference between acceptance and agreement you basically ensure that you will find and keep the person of your dreams.

5. You work at bridging differences

Every relationship encounters differences of understanding and opinion. The question is not whether there are differences, but how those differences are resolved.

Strong relationships settle differences by arriving at a common understanding based on what makes the most sense, not based on who thought of it first. Both sides share what they know and how they know it, and together they sort through the facts and feelings until there is agreement.

This is in marked contrast to the common but far less successful techniques of running from the disagreement, letting one side prevail through brute force, or compromising for the sake of compromise.

When you can bring teamwork and harmony in the face of disagreement, you are doing more than just avoiding an unnecessary breakup or a needless drama: You’re paving the way for a lasting relationship.

RELATED: 6 Honest Signs You're Not Ready For A Relationship ... Yet

Peter Kowalke is a relationship coach who specializes in dating and marital issues and the lead coach at Kowalke Relationship Coaching. For more information on how he can help you, visit his website.

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